Monday, November 16, 2009

2012 -- Mini-review

I saw 2012 yesterday afternoon in a packed theater.  I wasn't the only one.  2012 brought in $65 million in the US box office, and $225 million worldwide.  A good old-fashioned disaster flick was what everyone wanted to see, and we got our money's worth.

I hadn't seen a movie in a theater in a couple weeks, and finally here was one you really do want to see on the big screen, to enjoy all the movie effects.  Roland Emmerich is known for his big budget disaster films.  He helmed Independence Day, Godzilla, and The Day After Tomorrow.  He just ups the ante with each picture, and we have plate tectonic shifting mayhem aplenty here in 2012.  Ebert wrote in his review:
The tectonic plates shift so violently scientists can almost see them on Google Earth. This havoc requires stupendous special effects. Emmerich's budget was $250 million, and "2012" may contain more f/x in total running time than any other film. They're impressive. Not always convincing, because how can the flooding of the Himalayas be made convincing? And Emmerich gives us time to regard the effects and appreciate them, even savor them, unlike the ADD generation and its quick-cutting Bay-cams.
I adore John Cusack, and he certainly got to play a true hero in this film, saving the day in the final moments with a dramatic underwater fix-it job worthy of Poseidon.  The true fun in a disaster flick is all the supporting actors.  Oliver Platt was great as the White House official who turns out to have sold seats on the human species saving arks to only the very wealthy.  He's always great.  I loved Woody Harrelson as a kooky radio conspiracy theorist -- who turns out to be right.  Danny Glover played the president, although it's not so funny any more to say that you know it's a disaster film if the president is African American.  It was also fun spotting Jimi Mistry (from RocknRolla and also Benny the book in Ella Enchanted!) as an Indian scientist, Thandie Newton from RocknRolla as the president's daughter, and Chiwetel Ejiofor as the main scientist who I last saw as Mbeki in Endgame.

I'm not sure the film needed to be 2 and a half hours long, but I definitely enjoyed it and felt it was worth paying for a ticket in a theater.  You have to see a big movie like this on a big screen.  Why wasn't it released in IMAX, I wonder?  I give it three stars.  I totally agree with Ebert's conclusion about the film.  Is this the best film ever?  No.  It won't win an Oscar for screenplay, but formula pictures done well work for a reason.
The bottom line is: The movie gives you your money's worth. Is it a masterpiece? No. Is it one of the year's best? No. Does Emmerich hammer it together with his elbows from parts obtained from the Used Disaster Movie Store? Yes. But is it about as good as a movie in this genre can be? Yes.
Also, if the earth's core is heating rapidly, Yellowstone is NOT the place to head to.  We visited it this summer, and I can verify that!

No comments:

Post a Comment